Federation meeting crosses bridge to a bright future

Federation meeting crosses bridge to a bright future

Pittsburgh’s Jewish community had much to celebrate Thursday night, Sept. 24, as professionals and lay leaders gathered at the JCC in Squirrel Hill for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s 2015 Annual Meeting, dubbed a “Bridge to the Future.”

If the Federation’s fundraising prowess is any indication, the future looks bright, according to reports from Federation outgoing chairman Woody Ostrow and President and CEO Jeff Finkelstein.

Tallies from the just-completed 2015 Annual Campaign indicate it raised $13.63 million from more than 4,250 donors and a matching grant of $125,000 from the Giant Eagle Foundation.

In addition, the Jewish Community Foundation added $25.3 million, a record, in new funding, bringing its assets to more than $225 million.

Ostrow presented one of the night’s most-coveted honors, the Emanuel Spector Memorial Award — which honors the communal achievements of one lay leader each year — to Eileen Halpern Lane, a frequent contributor to Federation’s board of directors, executive committee and assorted other committees.

“Eileen Halpern Lane is a native Pittsburgher who has made her way to far-flung locales, and made an impact wherever she’s gone,” said Ostrow.

Lane, who is a life board member of the National Council of Jewish Women and served as president of The Ellis School Board, as well as the boards of Rodef Shalom Congregation and the future Adagio Health, was in London to celebrate Yom Kippur. She accepted the award by video.

“I am particularly delighted to be counted among the women and men who have previously received the Spector Award, individuals whose long history of involvement and leadership I admire, and many of whom have directly inspired and mentored me,” said Lane. “Though perhaps there are none more so than my own parents, who jointly received this award 34 years ago.

“My mother and father, Ethel and Bernard Halpern, were involved in providing for and promoting the health and welfare of both Pittsburgh and our Jewish community,” she added. “I’m proud to carry on their commitment and involvement, their teaching and example.”